SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
AUGUST 4, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Jim Ross introduced the show as the camera panned the audience at Daily’s Place. The announcers hyped the other scheduled matches.
(1) CHRIS JERICHO vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA
As Jericho made his ring entrance, the announcers sang his song and the announcers commented on split screen clips of last week’s match against Nick Gage. Jericho, as usual, seemed moved by the emotions in the building as fans sang his song. Juventud (now 46 years old) made his entrance next. Schiavone referred to being in Sturgis, S.D. in August 1998 when Juventud beat Jericho for the Cruiserweight Title. MJF then made his entrance onto the stage and sat next t the ring announcers. He tore up a fan sign and wiped his crotch with it. Schiavone said he’s never met anyone who was more despised and arrogant than MJF. Juventud attacked Jericho with a barrage of strikes. He leaped off the top rope wit a head scissors to take Jericho down. Juventud then leaped off the top rope onto Jericho, although seemed a bit off balance. Ross wondered if Juventud was rusty. MJF said he’s in control so apparently not. Jericho took over at ringside, then leaped off the top rope with a body press for a two count. Jericho landed a forearm to the head off the top rope a couple minutes later.
Juventud went for a top rope huracanrana, but Jericho blocked it and leaped off into a Walls of Jericho. Juventud grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Jericho landed a Judas Effect a minute later. MJF called him a moron because he couldn’t win after that. Jericho climbed to the top rope. When Juventud stood, he landed a flying Judas Effect off the top rope.
WINNER: Jericho in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not the most gracefully executed match. Jericho looked winded throughout the match, struggling to do basic stuff, and appeared to be near death afterward. He’s not looking particularly fit or healthy out there lately, and this was the most pronounced.)
-Wardlow attacked Jericho after. He also beat up Juventud. Wardlow then gave him a knee to the head. Fans booed as Wardlow eyed the camera. MJF apologized if they ruined the moment for the fans. Fans chanted “You suck!” He then revealed the third Labor of Jericho would be Wardlow. He said he’ll be accompanied to the ring by himself to be sure the match is fought fair and square. Ross said he’d be a ref. MJF didn’t say that, but perhaps it was implied.
-Dasha Gonzales interviewed The Lucha Bros. and Alex the Interpreter without Pac. Andrade and Chavo Guererro Jr. walked in and seemed to take credit for Pac’s travel difficulties. Chavo told the Lucha Bros. they can give them a first class life. They turned then down and left. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Dark Order backstage and mentioned due to the loss, they won’t be getting a tag title shot. Hangman Page walked in and apologized for costing them the tag title shot. He had a beer in hand. He said it’s best they go their separate ways. “For now, we’re done,” he said. Dark Order weren’t happy. Evil Uno told the rest of Dark Order that they should give them his space if that’s what he needs right now.
(2) DANIEL GARCIA & JEFF PARKER & MATT LEE vs. DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting) & JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON
Parker and Lee, formerly NXT’s Ever-rise, said they are criminally underutilized, and now that they’re in AEW, they can call out whomever they want. Excalibur said NBA free agency may be hot, but it’s even more happening in AEW. They cut to a split-screen break a few minutes in. [c/ss]
Mox attacked Garcia at ringside and tossed him into a security guy sitting in a chair at ringside, who took a tumble. Sting walked up to Garcia. Garcia yelled at him. Darby leaped at Garcia and knocked him down. Mox beat up both Garcia and Parker in the ring with rapid-fire offense. Darby landed a Coffin Drop on Garcia seconds later to win. Kingston excitedly posed with Sting and Mox afterward. He was like a kid who waited in line two hours for a photo op with Sting.
WINNERS: Moxley & Kingston & Darby in 10:00.
-A video package aired on Brian Cage speed-talking about leaving Team Taz and losing his FTW TItle to Ricky Starks. Taz said Cage will find out it’s better to be with them than against them.
-Ross plugged Christian Cage vs. The Blade was up next. [c]
-They went backstage to a gathering of The Elite. Kenny Omega, Michael Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler, The Young Bucks, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows were playing with a basketball and celebrating together. Gallows told Dark Order they can have an Impact Tag Team Title match next week on Dynamite. Matt Jackson said there’s nobody left and they are collectively the greatest group of world champions left in the business, ready to have their jerseys retired. Omega, wearing a Cookie Monster t-shirt and jorts, gloated that Hangman blew it last week. He said he’s all alone. Cutler then snipped the net from the hoop to celebrate. Schiavone said there’s so much to unpack there
(Keller’s Analysis: They were going for obnoxious there, and they achieved it, but as Schiavone noted, there was a lot going on and nothing really sunk in. Kenny’s better with Callis, and the Bucks are better off alone. Anderson & Gallows feel like smug, self-satisfied dead weight in The Elite at worst, and redundant and cluttering at best.)
(3) CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. THE BLADE (w/Bunny)
Ross said if Christian wins, he’ll make more of a case to be the no. 1 contender to the AEW Title. With Christian in control after a couple minutes, Bunny grabbed Christian’s boot when he was on the top rope. Leyla Hirsch ran out and fought with Bunny. Christian took control again until Blade dropped him gut-first over the top rope. They cut to a break with Blade in control. [c/ss]
Christian leaped off the top rope wtih a flying elbow to Blade at ringside. Fans chanted “You still got it!” (which probably wasn’t as well-received by Christian as fans intended, since it sorta implies he’s past a typical retirement age instead of a wrestler trying to pass himself off as a top tier player worthy of facing the World Champion). Christian landed a flying sunset flip off the second rope and then a flying uppercut off the middle rope. He set up a Kill Switch. Blade escaped. Christian went for a DDT, but Blade pushed him off. Blade landed a powerslam mid-ring for a near fall. Ross said this has been a hard-hitting, fundamentally sound match. Blade then yanked off the top turnbuckle. As the ref tried to repair the turnbuckle, Blade grabbed brass knux out of a bag at ringside. Christian, though, surprised Blade with a spear to win.
WINNER: Christian in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good solid yet unspectacular match – a Christian specialty.)
-A vignette aired with Santana & Ortiz and FTR discussing last week’s match. Dax said he watched his best friend almost die as a hook was stuck in Cash’s forearm and he was bleeding all over. They showed Cash’s skin getting caught on the hook on the top turnbuckle and tearing. Dax said Cash suffered all week, wondering if he’d come back. He said death couldn’t stop him.
(Keller’s Analysis: It wasn’t entirely clearly what the message was outside of revisiting Cash’s injury and indicating he was badly hurt. It was a cluster of emotional and intense clips and soundbites)
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced Britt Baker. Baker came out with Rebel. Baker and Schiavone hugged. Just as Baker began talking, she was interrupted by Red Velvet. Schiavone asked what brings her to the ring. Velvet said to Britt, “First off, red’s not your color.” She said she wants a little piece of DMD. She said her record is 22-4 with 7 straight wins. Baker said that’s impressive, but she’s the Women’s World Champion. She said she’s made her case and she can have her title match. She said if Tony Khan agrees, they’ll have their match at the AEW Rampage debut in her turf, Pittsburgh, next Friday. Velvet kicked Baker’s hand away when she offered a handshake. Rebel tried to hit Velvet with her crutch from behind, but Velvet ducked. Baker then kicked her ankle and stomped her face into the mat. Baker then drove the crutch into her throat. Fans chanted “DMD.”
NOTE: If you plan to attend a future AEW Dynamite, WWE Raw, or WWE Smackdown, let me know if you’re interested in being an on-site correspondent for us on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show. We’d bring you on the live post-show for 10 minutes, give or take, to talk about your experience at the event and share off-air details and crowd notes. Email: email@example.com and include the city in the subject line.
In particular, we still need correspondents for:
- 8/11 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- 8/18 in Houston, Tex.
- 9/8 in Cincinnati, Ohio
-Dasha interviewed Andrade El Idolo and Chavo Guerrero Jr. Chavo said they found someone who will work for them if the Lucha Bros. won’t. In walked Fuego del Sol. Chavo asked Fuego to shine his shoes. When Fuego said that’s not what they discussed, Chavo said the job description changed. They attacked him and said it should be Pac. Chavo rubbed his mask against Andrade’s boots. He said if Lucha Bros. keep working with Pac, they will never be tag team champions.
-Schiavone said he’s going to interview Page after the break. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Page mid-ring and asked what was going through his mind earlier with Dark Order. He was immediately interrupted by The Elite. Matt led the way with a mic in hand. Page said he’d glad they’re there. He said he is glad they walked out because he’s had something to clear up with them. They entered the ring. Omega said he’s trying to make new friends and increase his self worth and perhaps make a plea to rejoin The Elite. Page said that’s the last thing he wants to do. Omega said considering all his failures lately, he shares in common with the fans that he’s a “try hard.” He said they’ve stayed up late at night thinking about maybe forgiving his sins and looking past his vices and personal demons. He said after he sees what The Elite were and what they are today, he doesn’t fit the bill. He said The Elite does not have failures and losers in their group. Page slapped him. The Bucks, Gallows, and Anderson attacked him as Kenny cheered them on. After a Magic Killer, Dark Order ran out for the save. Uno and Stu Grayson, though, stopped them from going to the ring. The Bucks then gave Page three V-Triggers. Frankie Kazarian ran out for the save, but he was outnumbered and tossed out of the ring in seconds. Nakazawa threw a basketball at him. Omega then slammed Page in the face with the AEW Title belt as the Bucks held him up. The “Be Elite” theme song then played.
-Excalibur hyped Miro vs. Lee Johnson.
-A vignette aired with Dan Lambert ranting and telling Lance Archer to show up next week. He said he’d have back-up.
(4) MIRO vs. LEE JOHNSON (w/Dustin Rhodes) – TNT Title match
Miro fended off Johnson charging at him at the bell. They cut to a break early. [c/ss]
Miro remained in control after the match. He encouraged Johnson to fight back. Miro brushed off his chops. Johnson DDT’d him, but Miro no-sold it and popped up. Miro, though, dropped to a knee afterward with a delayed-response. Johnson dropkicked him. Miro staggered. Johnson dropkicked him to the floor. Fans cheered. Johnson then dove through the ropes at Miro three times, knocking Miro onto his back. Miro rolled into the ring to break the count. Johnson climbed to the top rope as Excalibur said this is the most trouble they’ve ever seen Miro in. Johnson landed a flying crossbody. Miro powered out at 1. Johnson landed four sidekicks. Miro dove at him, but Johnson moved and kicked him again, knocking Miro down. Johnson stood on the top rope and landed a frog splash for a two count. Dustin cheered him on from ringside. Miro came back with a thrust kick and then played to the hard camera with an intense look. He signaled for his finisher, then applied Game Over for the win.
WINNER: Miro in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The standard deviation in match length tonight is around 40 seconds. A nice match. Miro dominated early, which made his extended selling for him later really count for something. Miro is putting together some of the most psychologically sound matches lately. Johnson lost but came out stronger.)
-At ringside, Ross announced the Rampage announce team is Excalibur, Jericho, Taz, and Mark Henry. Excalibur graciously thanked Ross and Schiavone for being great broadcast partners and mentors. Then he hyped an interview with Christian, noting he is still undefeated. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Christian backstage. He said he’s feeling pretty good right now as the new no. 1 contender. He said he offered to be ringside for Hirsh, but she told him “Thank you for being a friend.” He sang the “Golden Girls” theme song. He said she didn’t really do that, but he’s just in a good mood. He said she assured him she already has “best friends.” He said he came back to AEW to take back what was taken from him seven years ago. He said he came to AEW to cement his legacy and win some championships. He said he’s known to stir up a little shit from time to time. He said he’s better than good, he’s elite. He looked at the camera and walked away.
(5) BUNNY (w/The Blade, Private Party, Angelico) vs. “LEGIT” LEYLA HIRSCH (w/Orange Cassidy, Wheeler Yuta, Trent, Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander)
Excalibur said whoever wins this will be the no. 1 contender for the NWA Women’s Title and travel to challenge for the title. Bunny stared at Kamille in the front row. Kamille had some words for her. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c/ss]
During the split-screen break, a graphic hyped Cody vs. Malikay Black. (It’s strange AEW often does nothing to build anticipation for their main events. No promos, no video package, barely any mentions.) Hirsch superplex Bunny as they returned to full screen after the break. Nyla Rose got Statlander’s attention at ringside. It’s beginning to feel like a lumberjack match out there. Ross wondered how many times someone has told Hirsch, “Oh honey, don’t worry about it, you’re too little, you’ll never do this because you’re too little.” Excalibur talked about her all-state wrestling credentials in New Jersey. She applied a cross armbreaker on Bunny, but Bunny leveraged her shoulders down for a near fall. Hirsch came back with a knee strike and then went for a moonsault. Bunny moved. Bunny then stood and gave Hirsch a Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Ross said the 4-11 Hirsch is fighting with all her might to earn an NWA Title match. Hirsh applied another cross armbreaker. Bunny broke free, but she reapplied it and then Bunny tapped out.
WINNER: Hirsch in 8:00.
-After the match, Kamille entered the ring. She towered over her. Geesh, she stood nearly two feet over her, although she was wearing five inch heels. It was quite an image of an underdog challenger.
-Backstage, Mark Sterling said a lot of people are asking why Jade Cargill hasn’t been wrestling lately. He said they’ve been expanding their brand and hearing out interests from Hollywood, but now they’re back. He said Jade has a match on Elevation this Monday. “Because I’m that bitch,” she said to close the interview.
-The announcers hyped Dynamite’s line-up for next week: Nyla Rose vs. Statlander, Gallows & Anderson vs. Evil Uno & Stu Grayson for the Impact Tag Team Titles, and Jericho vs. Wardlow. They also hyped Baker vs. Velvet on Rampage. Ross hyped Cody vs. Black was up next.
-Malikai Black made his ring entrance. Ross said this is his AEW in-ring debut. Excalibur said Black says Cody is past his prime and is a horse that needs to be put down. [c]
(6) CODY RHODES vs. MALIKAI BLACK
Cody’s ring entrance began and the crowd roared with boos. (Who had on their 2021 Bingo Card that Cena would be nearly unanimously cheered by returning WWE crowds and Cody would get a ton of boos from AEW fans?) Schiavone noted that Q.T. Marshall hasn’t apologized to him this week as he promised. He said Q.T. made an excuse, “but to tell with you,” he said. When the bell rang, Ross said it feels big-time. He acknowledged many were cheering for Black, but said most were cheering Cody. The bell rang 48 minutes into the third hour. Black kicked Cody’s inner thigh at the start. Cody elbowed back, but then sold a knee injury. Black took Cody down into an ankle bar. Cody escaped and set up a figure-four. Black gouged Cody’s eyes to break free. Cody fired back with a enzuigiri. Black took control with a single crab seconds later. A “Cody” chant started. Cody reached the bottom rope. Then a “Mal-i-kai” chant broke out. Black kicked out of a Crossroads attempt. Cody climbed to the top rope, but Black kicked him down. Cody crashed through the time keeper’s table on the floor. Fans chanted, “Holy shit!” Cody was slow to get up as a doctor checked on him. Cody dove into the ring to barely break the ref’s count. Black then landed his spinning hook kick to the jaw. He stood on Cody’s chest and got a three count clean. “My god, my god, what did we just see?” Ross exclaimed. “What a shock!” They cut to shocked fans in the crowd.
WINNER: Black in 5:00.
-Black returned to the back. Schiavone said he was going to go to the ring to see if he could get a word with Cody. The camera zoomed in on Cody who had a bloodied bridge of his nose. The doc checked on him in the ring. Schiavone kneeled and asked Cody for comment. He asked if he’s okay. Cody sat up and said: “Legacy is a funny thing.” He said when he was a referee at age 15, all he wanted was to become a champion. He said goals change, time flies, and he’s had so much fun. He struggled to his feet, with help from Schiavone. Some fans began chanting “Cody! Cody!” He toook the mic and struggled to balance. He told Schiavone he was good and shook his hand. Cody said he met Matt, Nick, and Kenny. He said three years ago people were laughing at them when they said they were going to be a revolution. “They laughed at us!” he said. An “AEW!” chant broke out. He said now it’s commonplace that this is destination viewing. “This isn’t an alternative, this is competition,” he said. “We set this table and now maybe some new people can eat.” He said for three years his face has been on everything and he’s carried the banner. He said he’s been so damn lucky. He said maybe there’s been some outside interests and maybe some in-fighting among EVPs, but he loves them deeply and will forever be tethered to them. He got emotional as he said with all due respect to Daily’s Place, “this is the AEW Ampitheater.” He said there is no better place. Another “AEW!” chant rang out. He said there’s no better place and time to announce, with zero bitterness in his heart, that he loves them so much and they’ve made his life so incredibly special. He took off his left boot. Ross said it’s a time-honored tradition when you’re done to leave your boots in the ring. Black then returned to the ring and bashed Cody from behind with a crutch. Black then looked at Cody’s boot. Excalibur asked if he has retired Cody. Ross said it’s ever-developing and signed off.
(Keller’s Analysis: Just like his ring entrance, Cody can’t even do a job without making into a huge production. There’s pros and cons to this, but ultimately it comes across as another fake retirement that emphasizes Cody projecting self-importance in the guise of being high-art. I’d like to see Cody have the confidence to just work within the basic parameters of most wrestlers telling stories without a surfeit of added drama. With him, it’s putting at stake all future World Title matches or making a bigger deal out pending fatherhood than anything this side of a Royal Family or retiring due to outside interests calling. If he dialed it down but utilized the same earnest persona and acting skills, he’d be just fine. The reference to EVP in-fighting can be taken several ways, including planting a seed for a future feud with Kenny or the Bucks. Black won, and the story was briefly about that, but then Cody made it about him. It still benefits Black, but Cody definitely big-footed the moment as a sendoff for however long he’s away doing something else. AEW will be in good hands with the influx of new names lately and some big ones on the horizon.)
NOTE: For another perspective, check out Tyler Sage’s report elsewhere at PWTorch.com HERE.